What Can I Do With a Master's Degree in Accounting?

Posted: May 01, 2020 | Author: Addison Love | Read Time: 4 minutes

Master's degree in accountingThere are many reasons that earning a master’s degree is a good idea. They typically make you more competitive in your field and equip you with a deeper knowledge and more complex skills than those without a master’s degree. All of these facts can help you make the decision to get the degree, but what can you really do with a Master’s Degree in Accounting (MAcc)? Take a look at five of the most common jobs occupied by MAcc graduates, what they require, and the average first-year salary.


An auditor will look through financial records to check for accuracy. Auditors can serve in a variety of capacities auditing the internal finances of the companies they work for, checking the records of clients of a firm, or even working for government agencies like the IRS in auditing tax claims. An auditor can work on a consultation basis or work in-house at a company full-time. In addition to checking for correctness, a well-educated auditor can advise management on the best ways to maintain transparency and clarity in the records they keep, allowing for smooth cooperation between auditors and auditees.

According to Glassdoor, an average auditor makes about $76,146 annually.

Forensic Accountant

Forensic accounting is similar to auditing but it focuses more on law enforcement. Forensic accountants investigate financial fraud to provide law enforcement agencies with the financial evidence they need when investigating a case. More than just analyzing and interpreting numbers, a forensic accountant must assemble a deeper reality out of the financial records they deal with. This job requires a great deal of attention to detail, as many of the documents produced will be analyzed in court to determine whether or not fraud has been committed.

According to Glassdoor, the average forensic accountant makes about $80,066 per year.

Corporate Controller

A corporate controller is a higher-level position than an auditor or forensic accountant. They usually oversee the larger financial strategies of a corporation. This wider oversight can include things like accounts payable and receivable, billing, and budgeting. A corporate controller needs to be able to build systems for all of these things in a way that allows operations to run as smoothly and efficiently as possible. These strategies can include payroll, budgeting, tax filing, and allocation. This is a job for the business-savvy MAcc graduate as it often calls for abilities that go beyond standard accounting skills like forecasting and risk management.

At an average annual salary of $130,226, a corporate controller is one of the higher-paying jobs on the list.

Managerial Accountant

Managerial accountants are focused on effective communication of financial data to management officials who may not be that well versed in accounting. They ensure that information is presented in a way that allows management to make truly informed business decisions. They can be thought of as highly skilled translators of the data that financial accountants generate to give to management. A managerial accountant needs to understand the needs of the recipients of financial information in terms of preferred formats, units, and time periods. Managerial accounts can be responsible for things from cash flow analysis, to financial leverage metrics, to product costing and valuation.

According to glassdoor, the entry-level salary for a managerial accountant is around $83,240 per year.

Financial Analyst

A financial analyst can serve in a wide array of capacities in both junior and senior capacities. Most commonly, financial analysts will handle information on the investments of the company they work for. They are often called to observe economic conditions and company practices to make recommendations on whether to buy or sell stock in a company based on predicted performance. An analyst must be well versed in financial models to create these predictions and give good advice. In addition to a master’s degree in accounting, students may wish to take the Securities Industry Essentials exam (SIE). This is a certification exam that can be taken without sponsorship as a great addition to a resume.

The first-year salary of a financial analyst can vary pretty greatly but the average annual income according to glassdoor is $77,280.


This list is a brief overview of the types of careers available to those with a master’s degree in accounting, but one of the great things about obtaining a high-level degree is the ability to use it to create a cross-discipline career. Whatever career in the financial field students pursue, it is quite likely that the skills learned in a MAcc program will help students further their goals.

Learn more about the Master of Accountancy graduate program available at SUU.

Produced by SUU Graduate Studies

SUU's Graduate school draws from a prestigious heritage and allows students to pursue a quality education. The master's degree programs offer students the chance to further their professional and educational careers on campus or online.

Tags: School of Business Graduate Programs

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